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Is Rantic, the supposed viral marketing firm behind the Emma Watson nude pics hoax, still playing the internet like a fiddle?

EmmaYouAreNet.com now redirects to this site.
EmmaYouAreNext.com now redirects to this site.

So it’s official: the Emma You Are Next web site, which was threatening to release nude pictures of Harry Potter actress Emma Watson, is a hoax. The site now redirects traffic to the home page of something called Rantic, a mysterious supposed “social media marketing enterprise” with a reputation for hoaxes.

Rantic is now claiming that the real agenda behind its website was a noble one: to expose the evils of leaked celebrity nudes – and, by painting 4channers as the evil hackers behind it all, to get 4chan itself taken down.

And somehow, to do this, they had to threaten to release nude pics of Emma Watson? It’s like fighting death threats against women – by sending death threats to women. The idea that this is a feminist “false flag” — an idea already being floated in Men’s Rightsy circles — is plainly ridiculous. Rantic’s actions are about as unfeminist as its possible to get.

Indeed, it seems pretty clear that Rantic’s new site is as much of a hoax as its last one.

Rantic’s own, er, “explanation” for the Emma Watson site is a masterpiece of concentrated bullshit:

We have been hired by celebrity publicists to bring this disgusting issue to attention. The recent 4chan celebrity nude leaks in past 2 months have been an invasion of privacy and is also clear indication that the internet NEEDS to be censored. Every Facebook like, share & Twitter mention will count as a social signature — and will be step closer to shutting down www.4chan.org.

Nothing about this makes any sense whatsoever. How do you protect celebrities from threats by threatening a celebrity? How do you use the Emma You Are Next hoax to get 4chan taken down … when everyone now knows that you, not anyone on 4chan, was behind the hoax?

Add to this a call for censorship that seems calculated to enrage the internet masses, and it’s hard not to conclude that Rantic is still playing the internet like a fiddle. For what aim I don’t know. Maybe, like some Men’s Rightsers we could mention, they figure that bad publicity – scratch that, catastrophic publicity – is better than none.

That’s more or less what Business Insider has concluded. In a piece published this morning, BI’s James Cook writes

Rantic Marketing doesn’t exist. This wasn’t a marketing stunt at all, but a social experiment run by the most notorious gang of pranksters on the internet.  …

Rantic Marketing is a fake company run by a gang of prolific internet spammers used to quickly capitalize on internet trends for page views. The group go by a variety of different names. Collectively, they’re known as SocialVEVO … The only known video footage of the group is a rap song about pickles that they used dubious spam techniques to make incredibly popular. The song used to have over 8 million views on YouTube.

As for that supposed plan to shut down 4chan? It’s only served to rally 4chan’s defenders.

In any case, the best way to fight celebrity leaks isn’t to shutter 4chan. It’s to find and prosecute those who’ve hacked celebrity nudes (including photos of several young women who were underage when the photos were taken) – and those who’ve knowingly spread them around the internet.

It may be hard to find the original hackers, but it’s certainly not hard to find those who distributed the nudes. Hint: Look at Reddit. Hundreds of thousands of Redditors were involved in what became known as TheFappening, and Reddit itself apparently profited handsomely from the attention and traffic.

Though the original TheFappening subreddit was belatedly shut down, leaked celebrity nudes are still being distributed openly on Reddit. This is criminal activity. Enforce the laws.

And Rantic, whatever your game is — just. fucking. stop.

 

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A Person
6 years ago

I wouldn’t be surprised if this turns out to be 4chan trying to cover their tracks.

pecunium
6 years ago

I just… no, I got nothing.

proxieme
proxieme
6 years ago

The #1 reason that I think that this is a false-false flag (double false flag? Whatever) is that the “explanation” uses the phrase “the Internet must be censored”.

That’s purely formulated to inflame the freeze peachers.

People who are genuinely concerned about privacy rights (that is, the right of people not to have their private pictures made public) would, at the very least, use different terminology.

If you’re going to go for the title of Master Troll AT LEAST pay attention to how the “other side” speaks, guys.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Pretty sure the only celebrity publicist dumb enough to think this would be a good idea already works for Charlie Sheen. Shit, full of, etc.

jojo
jojo
6 years ago

Rantic is very obviously made by someone from 4Chan. They pulled this crap with tumblr before. Make fake websites to attack 4Chan , rile them up and give them a justification. Its really transparent and wouldn’t be surprised if they had this ready in sine irc

Merus
Merus
6 years ago

More about ‘SocialVEVO’: http://www.dailydot.com/business/socialvevo-family-guy-hoax-company/

Essentially, they’re botnet spammers who’ve turned to fake viral marketing to ‘build their brand’. If what they’re doing doesn’t work, they pivot and try and spin a little harder to see if they can connect. If they don’t, they disappear, and wait, and if they ever do, they’re going to make out that their fluke wasn’t a fluke at all, and that they can do the same for YOUR company!

saphy
saphy
6 years ago

I would assume that this is JudgyBitch doing PR for 4-Chan now, except that the words ‘whores’ and ‘cunts’ haven’t been used in the official ‘Rantic’ statement.

saphy
saphy
6 years ago

So I guess even this PR failure is still not enough of a failure to be close to her ‘unique’ PR style.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Is there some kind of anti-PR school out there? Between this and anything JB screeches on behalf of AVfM, it proves that some people don’t know how to PR/market their way out of a bag.

Elektra Kenway
6 years ago

First of all, I’m truly glad that it was all a hoax, that her privacy was not violated, and that she won’t be publicaly shamed for being robbed. I’m happy for Watson just as I’m sad for all the other women shamed daily for their stolen pictures.

She made some very valid points in her speech. She’s a very reasonable woman, I like her more everyday.

I despise the idea of it, but the Internet needs to be regulated. It’s unfortunate, but we have no choice anymore.

Thanks to criminals and trolls for ruining the web!

magnesium
6 years ago

Just when I think I’ve seen the stupidest stupid shit that the internet has to offer, something even stupider happens. I’d at least like some down time between being disappointed in stupid “gamers” trying ruin video games and women being run off of the internet by assholes. That’s it, I’m spending the rest of the week watching pug videos and being disappointing in humanity.

leftwingfox
6 years ago

hellkell: I think this is the widening gyre of internet assholery.

Based on the link Merus posted, and the link greyskye posted about 4chan attacking Rantic over their GTA V for PC cancellation hoax, a narrative starts to emerge.

Rantic posts hoax sites based on controversy to drive internet traffic. They obviously don’t care about ethics or collateral damage. When doing the same with GTA V cancellation rumors, 4chan figured it out, and used their DDOS cannons on Rantic. Now Rantic is using the recent Gamergate/Fappening controversy to kill two birds with one stone: traffic wrangling, and 4chan.

boumbette
boumbette
6 years ago

Cue the gullible MRA hordes writing ‘typical feminist message’.
Rantic’s ‘any twitter mention will be counted as a social signature’ is particularly bullshitty.

sorceressensorcelled
sorceressensorcelled
6 years ago

Rantic, do you think you could make it any more obvious that you’re not interested in actual social justice? Not that this makes any difference to the manosphere, who will hold up Rantic as an example of a radical feminist organization no matter what evidence there is to the contrary… Sheesh, how can one little viral marketing group do so much damage?

The good thing that came out of this is that Emma Watson isn’t actually facing any privacy violations. I’m just worried that this whole stunt has put the misogynists on the mission to punish her anyway.

grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

A bit OT, but has anyone else had this extremely fake-sounding story about “vagina cookies” and a horrible feminist mom show up in their social media feeds: http://www.snopes.com/info/news/cookies.asp

DaeDunai (@DaeDunai)
6 years ago

A little tidbit, Apparently 4chan has done this before. They have used ‘Rantic Records’ and ‘Rantic Media’ which is an anagram for incite drama. I think they believe they are some part of an elite psyops or something LOL

http://www.craveonline.com.au/gaming/articles/751071-grand-theft-auto-v-pc-cancellation-rumor-debunked

http://www.kitguru.net/gaming/matthew-wilson/marketing-firm-rantic-hacked-over-gta-v-pc-cancellation-rumors/

For guys who think they are masters of propaganda and psychological warfare they aren’t very good at covering their tracks.

“Rantic.com is “Rantic Records”. For about ten years all it did was 302 forward to https://myspace.com/ranticrecords/

Last month it got hacked by 4chan because of the previously mentioned GTA V tease.
And then suddenly, when 4chan looks awful, it becomes the source of the awful.”

http://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/2hasry/is_rantic_actually_trying_to_censor_4chan_and_are/

grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

Hi, grumpycatisagirl! Yep kind of smells like straw feminist to me. I mean, I guess there could be someone out there who thinks genital decorated cookies are a good learning moment for children, but this just sounds too urban legendary. My BS detector says “woop”. Also, would a real in-your face let’s celebrate our vaginas feminist call a teacher “Miss” instead or “Ms” in the subsequent emails/texts?

ej
ej
6 years ago

@grumpycatisagirl
I had not seen that, but I read the article looking like this confused owl.
http://cheezburger.com/381273344

That just doesn’t seem right. The comment about things being “hypoallergenic” really struck me as odd. Not only is that weird adjective to apply to food, but my mom is a teacher and they can’t have homemade treats in classrooms any more. They have to be store-bought to ensure that students with allergies aren’t exposed to anything that could cause a reaction. The whole story just sounds off. It definitely sounds like someone has been building strawmen again.

Ellesar
6 years ago

grumpyoldnurse – well spotted with the Miss Ms faux pas. Basically this ‘feminist’ sounds like what an MRA believes a radfem is. Contrary to their opinion feminists generally are not completely delusional, and know what is appropriate or not for a child’s class.

As for Emma – yes, glad that she has dodged the misogynist bullet this time.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Wheels within wheels. Why do I get the feeling that all this spinning will lead precisely nowhere?

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

The cookie story sounds, at the least, wildly exaggerated. First seen on Reddit doesn’t help its credibility. Neither does foaf.

Kevin K
Kevin K
6 years ago

Is this “Rantic” company getting paid to do this? Or is this brain-dead stunt a promotional activity designed to garner them new business?

Either way, the only thing I can think is that the company is made up of high school sophomores with zero understanding of how the real world works. And that their client list is probably going to shrink.

Pocket Nerd
6 years ago

To me this looks like “reverse trolling,” or false flag trolling intended to generate sympathy for the points you’re nominally criticizing. 4chan practically invented reverse trolling, and in recent years they’ve damn near perfected it — such as by posing as women on Twitter and posting outrageous hyperbole about the eeevils of all men. (Remember #EndFathersDay?)

Was 4chan behind this? I don’t know. But I’d bet a tidy sum that misogynists of some stripe were. The Rantic “admission” includes far too many dogwhistles and scare phrases.

ralmcg
ralmcg
6 years ago

I read an interesting essay about men’s rights at http://theliberdade.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/what-are-mens-rights/. Interesting that he said that strength is a male principle. It makes it seem that females who have strength are not “real females”. You can reply to the essay at the website above.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

4chan practically invented reverse trolling, and in recent years they’ve damn near perfected it — such as by posing as women on Twitter and posting outrageous hyperbole about the eeevils of all men. (Remember #EndFathersDay?)

Yup. And fake non-white people, too. But that all backfired on them. Apparently, these “clever” trolls are still not smart enough to fool the real McCoys.

grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

@ ralmcg – read that essay. That was some hyperbolic word salad. If there was an overarching point to it (besides men are strong, and men and women have different roles in the family) I failed to comprehend it. Even those two conclusions don’t make a Helluva lotta sense.

Newt
Newt
6 years ago

I read an interesting essay about men’s rights at […]

That’s great, but where’s the mocking?

females

The essay you linked uses the preferred noun “women”. HTH.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

@ralmcg

I read an interesting essay about men’s rights

Your point being … ??? Help me out here.

It makes it seem that females who have strength are not “real females”.

“Females”? Somehow you’re not pinging my good-will-dar.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

@grumpyoldnurse:

That’s because they weren’t conclusions, they were assertions. My best interpretation is that the author thinks “Men’s Rights” (as opposed to general human rights) arise from the difference in family roles, and that divorce court ignores those differences and therefore oppresses men, which caused the MRM to exist.

Which is really weird, because the author then goes on to state that feminism has caused women to have more rights (rather than “different” rights), and that the ideal situation would be to have the law gender neutral, with gender not having any effect on the outcome of a dispute.

What those roles are, or what those rights could be, are not stated.

The whole “men == strength” thing is kinda tacked on to the end. No idea how it connects to anything else, except that apparently it is men’s job to fight for everybody’s rights, but they haven’t been because “it was too comfortable and easy to just kick back and watch football or play Halo or whatever.”

So, in summary, Men and women have different rights due to their gender because they fill different roles in a family, despite gay people existing. Divorce court ignores these differences, which oppresses men, but the ideal law would be gender neuteral. And men need to fight for everyone’s rights despite being the most oppressed ones. Also, Halo is misandry I guess.

Sarah
Sarah
6 years ago

Yep, legit just like the #endfathersday and #notyourshield tags.

I guess this series of false flagging is a really lame way to admit they know they don’t have any arguments.

timerhyme
timerhyme
6 years ago

“I despise the idea of it, but the Internet needs to be regulated. It’s unfortunate, but we have no choice anymore.”

Elektra, onsidering many of the calls for the internet to be regulated in some fashion tend to come from major business interests or groups aligned with them and that anonymity/psuedonymity is a HUGE benefit for people who live in countries with a repressive government, I’d have to disagree with that statement. The internet isn’t the issue, though there are certain aspects of it that make certain behaviors more prevalent than in real life (see also: GIFT), the issue is people. Even if they won’t admit to it in person, those attitudes are still there when those jerks aren’t on a computer. Even if at times it seems like the douchesnozzles of the world are just too much, combatting those attitudes seems more effective to me in the long run. It’s a matter of endurance, if you give up, that falls into what they want. As much bluster as they can say about never forgetting and never forgetting, they’re still human and are still capable of either caving or realizing their errors.

grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

@ kirbywarp – that’s what I figured. ::burp:: Pardon me, I think the word salad is giving me indigestion.

ralmcg
ralmcg
6 years ago

Newt, I used females because (1)the word includes both girls and women and (2) the word is used since the word male was used in describing what he said was “male principle”. I know that “women” is the preferred word, but I wanted to include girls in the discussion.

As for mocking the essay, I’ll try. Sure a non-judicial way should be used to help resolve a family crisis but what if it can’t or won’t solve it. Does he think that a little birdie will come down and magically make the situation better? Sometimes, as in spousal and child-abuse cases, the judicial system is the best way to resolve the problem.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

I know that “women” is the preferred word, but I wanted to include girls in the discussion.

Is the phrase “girls and women” too long for some reason? Are bits and bytes very expensive for you?

beegees
beegees
6 years ago

I despise the idea of it, but the Internet needs to be regulated. It’s unfortunate, but we have no choice anymore.

Isn’t this kind of bs already against the law? We don’t need new laws, we need to enforce the ones that are already there.

At first glance, I thought Rantic would be something to do with Ann Rand.

I absolutely LOVE that story about vagina cookies. I really wish the trolls produced pictures, because I’m 100% certain that the drawings on the cookies would be of labias and not vaginas given “the vaginas of all type” comment.

I don’t know very many feminists that say “vagina” when they mean “labia”, but I know a lot of men that do. Maybe trolls should start listening to feminists so they don’t sound like fools when they start talking about what one’s vagina looks like since most people don’t own speculums.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

but my mom is a teacher and they can’t have homemade treats in classrooms any more. They have to be store-bought to ensure that students with allergies aren’t exposed to anything that could cause a reaction.

Couldn’t the kids with severe allergies just not eat the homemade treats? Why deprive everyone else? This just sounds to me like schools trying to control every aspect of kid’s lives. Like increasingly strict dress codes. In the 80’s and 90’s when I was in school the only things we weren’t allowed to wear were hats (because panic over gangs was in back then) or any clothing items that were seen as promoting drug use or were offensive (like the co-ed naked shirts). There was also between kindergarten and 12th grade not a single person that had such bad allergies that it necessitated everyone else being deprived of good food.

I know this has been an old person “get off my lawn!” rant and I apologize. It just sort of feels like schools, at least in the US are becoming more and more pipelines to either prison or lives as corporate automatons instead of institutions of learning. It’s like kids are being prepared to have every minute of their days strictly controlled. I don’t think it’s a big conspiracy, just a cultural shift. It’s scary and it makes me glad I don’t have kids.

Also why does every other kid have allergies or need to be on a special diet these days? I mean, I knew a couple of kids with food allergies growing up but it wasn’t a big deal. Is it some sort of pollutant in the air, food or water that is screwing with people’s bodies? Or is it the result of helicopter parenting and wanting their kids to be special snowflakes? Any thoughts? I’ve read that this is mostly an USian thing. Is that true? It just confuses me because I don’t remember this being a thing in my childhood at all.

beegees
beegees
6 years ago

I could be wrong but all I’ve seen ralmcg do is link to men’s rights sites. That, and his use of “female” as a noun, is pinging my “is a FE/MRA- dar.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

So, 4chan is trying to prove that they’re not misogynist and horrible and have gotten a bad rap by putting out a misogynist and horrible hoax? I’m confused.

ralmcg
ralmcg
6 years ago

Sorry for using the word “female”. I’ll use “girls and women” from now on.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

@wwth:

I can’t vouch for this concept, but someone I read often had a post about allergies here. Apparently there are big difference in allergy frequency, and there is also a big difference in gut bacteria in the US vs other places like Sri Lanka.

vaiyt
6 years ago

If this is reverse trolling, it ain’t working because looking at the cesspit of the internet fighting a sleazy viral marketing company just makes normal people hope they burn each other.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

Or is it the result of helicopter parenting and wanting their kids to be special snowflakes?

I don’t know about special snowflakes, but I read this article not too long ago:

http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/03/hey-parents-leave-those-kids-alone/358631/

One of the phrases that stuck with me:

When my daughter was about 10, my husband suddenly realized that in her whole life, she had probably not spent more than 10 minutes unsupervised by an adult. Not 10 minutes in 10 years.

Personally I don’t comprehend “play dates.” People have tried to explain this to me, but it just goes over my head. When I was a kid, a “play date” was going outside and seeing who else was already out there playing, or going up to a friend’s house and knocking on the door. Why is this no longer a thing? Why do parents have to arrange friendships for their kids? These are not questions I expect anyone to answer, because people have tried answering them for me in the past and I still don’t grasp the rationale.

It seems, to me, to be parents wanting to totally manage their kids’ development, presumably so the kids develop correctly? The only adjective that comes to my mind is “smothering,” but I was what was called a the time a “latch-key kid” so this whole concept is utterly alien to me. It may as well be coming from Tau Ceti.

Sorry for using the word “female”. I’ll use “girls and women” from now on.

Thank you.

beegees
beegees
6 years ago

@weirwoodtreehugger

In a way I feel like you because it’s such a pain to pack my kids snack’s for their classrooms. I mean, there’s brands of fruit gummies that they can’t pack because they’re made in a facility with nuts. But, in the end, there are children in my children’s classroom that are soooo sensitive to nuts that they can go into anaphalatic shock just by breathing in a few particles of dust, so its necessary. I don’t know why, but I don’t think there was as severe of a problem with nut allergies back when we were kids.

Of course, my kids like to pack nut granolia bars for lunch and bring them into the classroom for snacks, so I’m on lunchbox checking duty until they learn better. 😉

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Kirbywrap,

That’s interesting. Maybe my helicopter parent hypothesis was right. I’m told that kids are far less likely to be allowed outside unsupervised than when I was growing up. That means kids are playing outside less often because they aren’t going unless a parent has the time to go out too. It also seems like kids have more regimented lives with a million activities to do and more homework so they spend less time just running around outside and goofing off. Bad for the body and the imagination.

I rather like the idea that I’m healthy in part because I was a dirty slob of a kid who loved digging for worms!

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

My mom used to kick us out and make us play outside sometimes. Partially so we didn’t spend too much time in from of the TV and Nintendo and I’m assuming so she could get some space and maybe quiet to do her work (she went back to college when we were kids).

Is that not a thing anymore? How could things change so much in just 20-25 years? Maybe it’s the internet. There’s always something people are panicking about online and there’s always people to tell you you’re doing all the things wrong.

strivingally
6 years ago

Pro-tip for 4chan trolls: when we say shit like how we’d like to nuke 4chan from orbit, we’re being ironic because we’re exasperated at a community that revels in their horribleness and we can’t express it sufficiently except through hyperbole. At least in the circles I visit, nobody seriously says shit like “we need to censor the internet and shut down 4chan!”. That really does sound more like the exact thing you’d say if you wanted to whip a community of trolls into a white-hot fury.

So my money’s either on “false-flag” – i.e. someone from 4chan knowingly putting this up to have a convenient strawman enemy (“THOUGHT POLICE! FREEZE PEACH!”) – or else it’s not them, but some other group who’s actually trying to play 4chan by getting them riled up. Either way it’s gross, and as David says, the effective ways to prosecute the leaking of private pics have nothing to do with shitty viral marketing schemes.

beegees
beegees
6 years ago

Also, I guess it would be more accurate to say “vulva” than “labia”, but from my experience dudebros are most confused about what labia and they’re most likely to be the parts that were rawn are so thats what I used. For maximum snark. 😉

fromafar2013
6 years ago

I rather like the idea that I’m healthy in part because I was a dirty slob of a kid who loved digging for worms!

That’s actually kinda funny because I’ve heard that increased allergy severity can be traced to better sanitation and an elimination of parasites, who naturally slightly suppress their host’s immune system enough to let them survive, but not enough to hurt the host or make them susceptible to disease. So being a dirty wormy kid is a good thing?

The hypothesis I guess is that your slightly suppressed immune system is less likely to have a lethal allergic reaction when you’re exposed to something you’re allergic to? Gives your immune system a chance to get familiar with the allergen without over reacting, kinda like how allergy shots work. I’d have to do more research, but that’s just a hypothesis I’ve heard.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

Wow. If I keep face-palming like this, I’m going to end up breaking my glasses.

katz
6 years ago

Also why does every other kid have allergies or need to be on a special diet these days?

The way I’ve heard, it’s about your immune system at an early age learning the difference between what’s part of you and what isn’t. So being exposed to lots of other organisms helps prevent allergies. Western kids have more allergies today because there are fewer farm kids and more big-city kids who don’t have pets or spend a lot of time outdoors.

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